There are only so many hours in a day and in case you haven’t heard, I published my second novel. Take Me Home is now available on both Kindle and in Paperback on my Amazon page.
There was a lot to do last week. I downloaded the formats. I tweeted about it and posted it here on WordPress. I shared it on Facebook and begged my friends to share. I sometimes wonder about the power and usefulness of social media. It’s a you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back kind of thing and right now my back is itchy.
I did walk. I needed to walk to ease the anxiety and tension. But a week has gone by and I haven’t blogged about walking. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to blog, to provide this free entertainment. I also work a day job, although my goal is to write full-time I’m not there yet. The bills followed me to Florida; the cable TV my husband couldn’t live without, the rent, and the Obamacare, which is much better than COBRA but it’s not free. The electric bill is thankfully so much cheaper than the oil bill we had to cover during the winter months in New Hampshire. It’s been so cold up north I can’t imagine how much oil we would be burning through.
I am thankful for the lovely weather here in South Florida. And the opportunity to walk every day. No icy sidewalks, no freezing wind to bite at your cheeks and burn your lungs.
We took several walks to the beach. I missed only one day this week. On Thursday, twelve hours of torrential rain caused numerous flash floods. The emergency alert system on my cell phone went off twice, the second time at 3 a.m., waking me from a dead sleep.
On Sunday we decided to explore a really nice neighborhood in West Palm Beach. Its several historic districts border the west coast of the Intracoastal. Cute little bungalows, adobe houses, and some monster mansions along the water also creeping into the neighborhood. It was quiet, with very little traffic. Come to find out, the traffic had been calmed.
Who knew there was such a thing.
Okay, everyone remain calm. I am going to express an opinion. These are only the thoughts and feeling of the author. You do not have to agree with me. That’s the beauty of a democracy. After finishing our walk in the Prospect Park, Historic Monceaux neighborhood, we drove into Palm Beach and finally stumbled upon Worth Avenue. I had read about Worth Avenue, the Rodeo Drive of Florida. I had a wonderful Mexican lunch several years ago on Rodeo Drive. The waiter made our guacamole tableside and it was the best guac we ever had.
In Palm Beach, we found a great parking spot next to a peaceful garden.
With shade and the soothing sound of a trickling water fountain.
At this point we didn’t know we were near the Worth Avenue shopping mecca for the wealthy and privileged. This is where the top 10 percent of earners who took more than half of the country’s total income in 2012 buy their shoes.
At one of the loveliest Saks Fifth Avenues I have ever seen.
Behind the steel doors of Tiffany & Co. is where they purchase their bling.
Now don’t get me wrong. I believe in a free market economy and the opportunity to make money. I will admit I often dream of a Hollywood producer approaching me with a movie deal for one of my books. I think they would make perfect movies. They are dialogue ready.
But $5000 shoes? I can’t ever imagine buying $5000 shoes. Because really, who needs that much money. I’m not a religious person but I know that is morally wrong. It’s sinful.
The streets are beautiful here. A clean antiseptic all-American town. No riff raff, no homeless people. I felt shabby in my old pair of Nikes. The men wear expensive loafers and no socks. The women wear jewels, expensive Capris and blouse ensembles. I knew they were made by some designer, I just didn’t know the name, unless it was Lily Pulitzer. Even I can spot the dizzy combinations of bright colors that scream “Lily.”
As we passed a Tory Burch store I cringed. A character in Take Me Home named Louise shows up at Josie Wolcott’s apartment and kicks off her Tori Burch sandals. Goddamn it, I knew immediately I had spelled Tory with an “i”. I was hoping I had avoided a faux pas like that. Why hadn’t I walked Worth Avenue before I sent the final draft? What the hell do I know about Tory Burch beside the fact she makes super expensive shoes and I read about her once in Vanity Fair. My editor was a guy, he didn’t know either. Well, you know who else wouldn’t know it was Tory with a y? Josie. Josie Wolcott, the heroine of my novel, the everywoman who like me buys her sandals at Marshall’s.
We passed the fire station. Yes, there are fire trucks behind those doors.
And the horse fountain:
As we got closer to the town center and our dented old Hyundai, I started to feel sick. Not sick as in I’m about to puke but sick as in a queasy disgusted feeling.
I mean it’s true. I am not going to deny it. I felt a certain level of anger and disgust. I am aware of the facts about the ever-increasing problem of income equality in America. Between 1992 and 2007, the top 400 earners in the U.S. saw their income increase 392% and their average tax rate decrease by 37%. We live in a new Gilded age. The mansions that line Palm Beach rival the mansions in Newport, relics from a time we thought we’d left behind. The U.S. ranks 44th out of 86 countries for income inequality, well below every other developed country measured in this study. We rank below Nigeria.
Gosh, the things you think about when you set out on a walk. A block from the car my right sneaker started flopping. I have done so much walking I had walked the sole right off. This made me feel even shabbier.
I want my piece of the pie. I want to be free of the worry of how to pay the bills. I like to have some disposable income. I am now even contemplating a pair of Tory “with a y” Burch sandals just as a private joke, but I’m not paying $5000 for them no matter how many books I sell.
A new novel is no longer just floating in my brain, it is keeping me awake at night. It unfolds like another movie as I drive to my temp jobs. I dream of selling so many books I no longer need to work temp jobs. I am working very hard at this goal. I have no idea if I will succeed.
In the meantime, if you enjoy my blogs and have enjoyed The Reverse Commute and Take Me Home here’s a few ways to help a writer.